T Nation

Critique My CW Influenced Routine

My training has been very unplanned since I moved away to go to university, but now that I’ve found a decent gym I’m going to start a three day full body routine based loosely around the ideas in CW’s Total Body training.

My goals are hypertrophy and strength increases. The strength and hypertrophy days are performed at the gym, the endurance day if possible will be done at my halls of residence with one dumbell that a friend brought along. It will save me a bit of money on gym admission and a long trek to get there, and I’m hoping it will force me to introduce a little variety to exercise selection.

Anyhow here goes:

Day 1: Hypertrophy
All 3 sets of 8-10 reps, 60-90 secs rest between sets

Front squat
Straight leg deadlifts
Standing overhead shoulder press
Chin Ups
Standing Barbell Curls
Hanging leg raises with twist

Day 3: Endurance
2 sets of 15 for each side in the 4 unilateral exercises, 2 sets to well short of failure on push ups, crunches and squats. 90-120 secs rest between sets.

One arm dumbell snatches
Turkish Get Ups
Single arm dumbell bent rows
Single arm front raises
Weighted Crunches
Push Ups
Body weight squats

Day 5: Max Strength
All 6 sets of 3 reps

Bench Press
Bent Over Rows

Any thoughts or advice would be much appreciated.

Thanks in advance,

Do you pay for the gym per visit?

I think that you would be better off doing a dynamic/explosive day rather than the “endurance” day. Given that your main goals are hypertrophy and strength, I think it would be more beneficial to work in some explosive training.

Here are some good explosive lifts:

Jump Squat
Explosive bench (catch & release on smith machine)
Clapping push ups
Catch & release chin ups
Explosive alternating lunges

Or you could also choose standard exercises (read that, bench, squat, deadlift, etc) and do a 10 sets of 3 reps protocol on each w/ 1 minute rest. Choose a weight that you can achieve maximum acceleration, which usually is between 60-75% of your max.

Good luck,

RIT Jared


You have the genereal gist of it. One long term down side I would see with your program is no discussion of variation in either exercise selection or volume. Both are important factors. It has been my personal experience that I can only go three weeks on the same routine before it loses effectiveness for me. To compenstate, each week I work a different strength range (2-4, 5-7, 10-15)with two weeks high volume high volume of total sets, 1 week low volume of total sets(realative to each other. Everyone has different definitions for what is hi/lo volume.)

If you look at CW TBT program, you see the roation of rep ranges, volume, exercise selection, and exercise style. No week is ever the same as the last! that provides for the variety that your body needs.

One way you could do this is pick four rep ranges/workouts: 2-4, 5-7, 10-12, 15-18, call them A B C D. Know

week 1 A B C (higher volume)
Week 2 B C D (lower volume)
Week 3 C D A (higher volume)
Week 4 D A B (lower volume)
Week 5 reepat, with all new exercises.

This is one example, and CW provides many more. You are on the right track - experiment until you find what works for you!

RIT Jared and CRisenhoover - good answers!

Gatti, if your goal is to increase maximal strength levels as much as hypertrophy, you’d be better off with my Triple Total Training routine. The TBT program is purely for hypertrophy purposes. Those who seek maximal strength increases and hypertrophy would be better off on the TTT program.

Thanks a bunch for the great responses. For now, I think I’ll stick to the endurance day and just focus on hypertrophy.

I’ve never made a commitment to seek purely hypertrophy before but given my dietary situation it makes sense. I was placed in catered halls of residence (I expressly asked for self-catering!) so I have little control over two of my daily meals. I suppose it makes sense to try to put the excess calories towards muscle building.

I do realise the importance of switching things up. I’ll give the routine I outlined everything I’ve got for 3-4 weeks then probably switch to something with more of an emphasis on maximal strength - most likely Triple Total Training as Chad suggested.

Thanks again for your time and expertise!

I have had one thought about incorporating a little explosive work. Would employing the “grease the groove” method be effective?

Possibly performing one or two explosive reps of body weight jump squats or clap push ups, for instance, a few times a day?

Hypertrophy would still be the major priority for me, but if I could try to work my explosive power without conflicting with this I’d like to. The idea of getting a mood boosting mini-workout “hit” several times a day is very appealing too.

If the consensus is that this “grease the groove” idea could work for me, I’ve got a few more questions about exercise selection/rotation, and frequency of reps, but for now I’d just like to know if you feel the idea could be effective in principle.

Thanks in advance.

Bump. Any thoughts on this “grease the groove” approach?

The “grease the groove” approach is not necessarily for gaining strength or explosiveness, rather it is to learn the proper form for an exercise. If you make your body perform an action several times a day, using the exact same motion each time, it will become second nature. When you then add heavy weight to the action hopefully your body will move in the “groove” you have “greased”.

I think it depends on your strength levels if you need a dynamic strength day or not. If your strength levels are low for your size, i think you’ll be ok with doing and endurance day instead of a dynamic strength day. But you probably want to make sure on hypertrophy days not to get your reps about 8 or 10. On endurance days you might even go as far as keeping your reps above 20. Thats the way i would do it if it were me.


Twice each week you can perform a “greasy” workout. 6-8 hours before or after your current workout routine works best. Just perform 3-4 sets of 3-4 reps with a non-maximal load as fast as possible.

Thanks again for your time everyone. I’ll follow Chad’s recommendations and limit the explosive work to a low volume performed only twice a week.

Greasing is not just for form, it will make you very strong if you keep adding weight without getting anywhere close to failure.